• Lyrics & Music: Kazuya Yoshii
  • Arrangement: The Yellow Monkey
  • Single released 07/10/1996

Original Lyrics

月が昇れば狼になって いつも優しい君を乗せて
悩みのたねを吐き出すように シフトを強く入れたりして

踏み込むアクセル シビれるcome on!
何故だかカーステ ベートーベンで
これがまたいい oh yeah

弱い自己主張は捨てられて 強い個性だと殺される
うまく行くはずのない毎日 希望は車よりも速く


Ah Change Moonlight Drive
何が悲しくて 何が嬉しいことなんだろう
Ah Change Moonlight Drive
君は道づれ この世の果てが地獄だろうと

飛ばせ Moonlight Drive

心で愛して感じて All night 愛しいオイルが流れる Baby

Ah Change Moonlight Drive
何が儚くて 何が強いものなんだろう
Ah Change Moonlight Drive
君は道づれ 我が身の果てが地獄だろうと

色んな景色が流れて 何故だかわからず涙目
朝日がとどめをさすだろう ブレーキはない

夜明けには 口笛を吹いて Moonlight Drive
Change The Moonlight

Romanized Lyrics

tsuki ga noboreba ookami ni natte itsumo yasashii kimi wo nosete
nayami no tane wo hakidasu you ni shift wo tsuyoku iretari shite

fumikomu accel shibireru come on!
naze da ka car sute Beethoven de
kore ga mata ii oh yeah

yowai jiko shuchou wa suterarete tsuyoi kosei da to korosareru
umaku iku hazu no nai mainichi kibou wa kuruma yori mo hayaku

ya wo koe yama wo koe moral mo koete
“kimi ga daiji da to” kao ni dashite
mata hashiru no sa

Ah Change Moonlight Drive
nani ga kanashikute nani ga ureshii koto na n darou
Ah Change Moonlight Drive
kimi wa michizure kono yo no hate ga jigoku darou to

tobase Moonlight Drive

kokoro de ai shite kanjite All night itoshii oil ga nagareru Baby
nagai tunnel wo tsukinuketara
shinu made hitotsu sa

Ah Change Moonlight Drive
nani ga hakanakute nani ga tsuyoi mono na n darou
Ah Change Moonlight Drive
kimi wa michizure waga mi no hate ga jigoku darou to

ironna keshiki ga nagarete naze da ka wakarazu namida me
asahi ga todome wo sasu darou break wa nai

yoake ni wa kuchibue wo fuite Moonlight Drive
Change The Moonlight

Translated Lyrics

When the moon comes out I turn into a wolf, and give you a ride since you’re always so nice
Slamming on the gear shift like I’m spitting out the source of all my worries

Stepping down on the accelerator is exhilarating, come on!
For some reason Beethoven’s playing on the car stereo
And that’s pretty great, oh yeah

Casting aside weak self-assertion, a strong personality can kill
Every single day where things are unlikely to always go well, hope travels faster than any car

Passing through fields, mountains, and any kind of morals
With “You’re important to me” written on my face
We’re hitting the road again

Ah change, moonlight drive
Just what does being sad or happy even mean anymore
Ah change, moonlight drive
You’re my traveling companion, and I wonder if we’ll find hell at the end of the world

Let’s blast off on a moonlight drive

I’ll love you and feel with all my heart all night, and that lovely oil will start flowing baby
When we get through this long tunnel
That’ll be one more before we die

Ah change, moonlight drive
Just what is fleeting and what is powerful anymore
Ah change, moonlight drive
You’re my traveling companion, and I wonder if we’ll find hell at the end of ourselves

All sorts of scenery passes by the window, I’m not sure why but I’m tearing up
I wonder if the morning sun will finish us off, because we don’t have any brakes

Whistling in the dawn, moonlight drive
Change the moonlight


As the B-side on the Spark single, Moonlight Drive was fated to play second fiddle. It hasn’t played played live too many times (though when it is, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is often used as the intro to the song. How appropriate given that Beethoven gets mention in the lyrics!), and it also hasn’t appeared on any non-compilation albums.

Moonlight Drive - Yoshii (Tour '96 For Season -yasei no shoumei-)
Yoshii being dramatic during the intro (Moonlight Sonata) (Tour ’96 For Season -yasei no shoumei-, 1996)

Sure, it’s not on Spark’s level in terms of song writing. But it is one of Yemon’s most criminally underrated songs! In Japanese cities specifically, having a car is a luxury. So driving can something of a hobby for someone who has one. And while the lyrics start off being about the idea of going for a drive, they quickly move on to something more ponderous: Probably all things felt while going on said drive.

In terms of lyrical things, I suspect that the “turning into a wolf” line at the beginning refers less to something like a werewolf, and more to the “men are wolves” expression: In that they’ll devour any unsuspecting women.

Moonlight Drive - Heesey (Tour '96 For Season -yasei no shoumei-)
Tour ’96 For Season -yasei no shoumei-, 1996

All that said, the band was initially pushing for this to be the A-side over Spark, so they clearly had a lot of faith in it, at least at first:

I was planning to go with Spark myself, but then the band members tried to talk me into it being the other way around. I couldn’t decide in the moment, so I think we just put it off for a bit.

Hiroyuki Munekiyo, Interview (2013)

But for as much as I like Moonlight Drive, it sadly doesn’t deserve to be the A-side on that single over Spark.

Moonlight Drive - Emma (30th Anniversary Dome Tour Kyocera Dome (2020))
30th Anniversary Dome Tour. Kyocera Dome (2020)